RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGALISATION AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Evidence from Colorado
New research by Tse-Chun Lin and Runtong Lin identifies recreational marijuana use as an emerging risk factor of domestic violence. Their study provides the first plausible causal evidence that recreational marijuana use causes an 13.2% increase in domestic violence rate in Colorado. Such an effect is particularly prominent in Denver city where more than half of marijuana retail stores in Colorado are established.
In summary, findings demonstrated marijuana use positively associated with psychological, physical, and sexual IPV perpetration among men arrested for domestic violence and court-referred to BIPs. These findings were present even after accounting for other known risk factors for IPV perpetration. We believe continued investigation into the associations between marijuana use and IPV is important due to the public health, legal policy, and treatment implications that would result from this line of research. Continued research utilizing rigorous methodological designs, such as daily diary designs, is needed to further understand the association between marijuana and IPV perpetration. Finally, pending replication and extension, findings suggest BIPs may want to target reductions in marijuana use, which may have the concurrent benefit of reducing IPV.
“Here, we present 14 cases of violence with chronic marijuana users that highlight recurring consequences of: marijuana induced paranoia (exaggerated, unfounded distrust) and marijuana induced psychosis (radical personality change, loss of contact with reality).”
“Because cannabis use can result in irritability, disinhibition, and altered cognition, it is plausible that its use increases the risk of violence and aggression and that this association is exacerbated in psychiatric illness.”
Norman S Miller1*and Thersilla Oberbarnscheidt
Marijuana is currently a growing risk to the public in the United States. Following expanding public opinion that marijuana provides little risk to health, state and federal legislatures have begun changing laws that will significantly increase accessibility of marijuana. Greater marijuana accessibility, resulting in more use, will lead to increased health risks in all demographic categories across the country. Violence is a well-publicized, prominent risk from the more potent, current marijuana available. We present cases that are highly popularized storylines in which marijuana led to unnecessary violence, health
risks, and, in many cases, both. Through the analysis of these cases, we will identify the adverse effects of marijuana use and the role it played in the tragic outcomes in these and other instances. In the analysis of these cases, we found marijuana as the single most common, correlative variable in otherwise diverse populations and circumstances surrounding the association of violence and marijuana.
Given the data, can we strongly suggest that marijuana, especially in the high-potency forms and fast delivery systems available, is now a serious risk factor in violent acts?
All the facts and increasing potency of THC in marijuana is a RED ALERT to parents. We inform parents of the warning signs of marijuana use, so they have every opportunity to steer youth away from irreversible harm.
About half of the attackers (n = 15, 54%) had a history of illicit drug use and/or substance abuse. This abuse, which included alcohol and marijuana, was evidenced by such factors as the attacker receiving treatment for the abuse, suffering legal consequences, or having significant problems in their personal lives stemming from the abuse.”